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Aguero goal wins Manchester derby for City

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Sergio Aguero, the man who secured the Premier League for Manchester City in dramatic circumstances last May, prevented Manchester United from claiming it prematurely this season. His stunning winner against United at Old Trafford provided no more than a blip on the life support of City’s title defence, but restored some pride to a City team that has looked disjointed and dispirited for much of the season.

Aguero’s delicate footwork to evade three defenders and his precise finish provided a goal worthy of winning a trophy. With United still twelve points clear it was just a gesture of defiance, but at least promised that City would offer more determined resistance next season. It also offered support to manager Roberto Mancini’s thesis that United were vulnerable to teams who were willing to attack them.

Although many have suggested that he would be sacked, Mancini was looking forward to next season. "We know that we can win the title next year," the manager said. "This year we did some mistakes but now we can do nothing, the season is gone. It is important that we continue to win. For now we need to play like this. For next season we have two or three months where we can work well and where we can improve our team."

United would need to lose four or draw six of their last seven games to let City overhaul them, and that’s not going to happen. Sir Alex Ferguson will also be looking to strengthen his team with next season in mind. Robin Van Persie’s recent form has been a concern after his superb start to the season.

Ferguson described the Dutchman’s performance against City as "fantastic", but few would agree with that assessment. With Wayne Rooney seeming to be on the receiving end of the manager’s mood-swings recently, United’s title run-in may be a chance to restore the morale and fitness of the star strikers.

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